Beer History 101
Chemical tests on ancient pottery jars revealed that the first documented biological engineering process was conducted here in today's modern Middle East over 11'000 years ago. It is here that the history of beer begins. Believe it or not, the creation of beer was followed by a domino effect that led to record keeping, mathematics, the formation of the written language, the construction of the plough for harvests, the wheel, and much more.

Almost any product with carbohydrates, mainly sugars and starch, can be fermented. It is most likely that beer-like beverages were independently brewed by numerous cultures throughout the Middle East. Some scholars argue that the invention of beer was responsible for settling the nomadic tribes, and thus beginning modern human civilization. These civilizations ranged from Mesopotamia to Egypt. They all had their unique processes, and cultural significances that ascribed to their versions of beer.

From the dawn of beer to the Industrial Revolutions of the 18th century, beer was often produced and sold locally, while its styles and qualities varied infinitely. The Industrial Revolution introduced mass production, and the consequent standardization of beer. Today, beer is the third most widely consumed beverage in the world, after water and tea. Beer produces over $300 million in global revenues.
Further Reading
National Geographic News
Scientific American Blog